- The federal government has opened up on using back channels to address the security challenges in the country
- This is following Sheikh Ahmed Mahmoud Gumi's recent visit to the camp of bandits in Zamfara state
- Lai Mohammed is of the opinion that the bandits are probably ready to believe the renowned Islamic scholar more
Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's minister of information and culture, has said that bandits might be ready to listen to renowned Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmoud Gumi, more than the federal government.
Mohammed made the disclosure while speaking on TVC’s This Morning show monitored by The Punch on Friday, February 5.
According to the minister, the government was using some back channels to tackle Nigeria's security challenges, adding that there's nothing unusual for the Kaduna-based Islamic cleric to act as a bridge.
He explained that it is not uncommon for a respected cleric such as Gumi to have the confidence of approaching bandits.
Sheikh Gumi meets with armed bandits in Zamfara forests
This development is coming a day after the fearless Islamic cleric took a bold step to dialogue with the armed criminals in a bid to hear their grievances and possibly fashion out a workable method of stopping the bloodletting.
Gumi, alongside some other Islamic clerics, visited Tubali and Makkai forests in Shinkafi local government area of Zamafara on Tuesday, February 2, where he met with the bandits for another round of dialogue.
What is happening in Zamfara, Sheikh Gumi opens up
Meanwhile, the renowned Islamic scholar narrated his experience during his recent trip to the bandits camp in Zamfara state.
The well-respected cleric said he visited the stronghold of the attackers, appealing to them to accept peace.
Briefing Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state on Thursday, February 4, after his visit, the cleric said the bandits have turned into insurgents.
In a related development, Gumi made powerful revelations on security issues.
In an interview with journalists on Saturday, January 23, the cleric said that from his study and conversation with these supposed criminals, he discovered that most of them were actually victims of military incursions and crimes they are now into kidnap, maiming, and even banditry.